ChevronTexaco Settles Cleanup Suit With California Town For $9.1M

Date: September 10, 2003

Source: News Room

ChevronTexaco Corp. (NYSE: CVX) has agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the small California town of Cambria, which accused the company of contaminating its water supply with a suspected carcinogen. The settlement brings to an end a three-year dispute. Chevron will continue state-monitored remediation efforts begun in Cambria in 2000 after an underground storage tank at a service station leaked methyl-tertiary-butyl ether into two of the five wells that supply the town with water.
Town attorneys said the MTBE settlement was one of the largest in the nation on a per capita basis. Environmentalists termed the spill one of the worst in California, which in 1999 ordered petroleum producers to phase out MTBE by this December because of statewide groundwater pollution problems. Cambria officials said the contamination forced them to place a moratorium on water permits in November of 2001, which suspended the homebuilding plans of 600 families. The city has begun developingplans for a water desalinization plant as a permanent solution for the contaminated wells.
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